Everyone loves a candy cane during the holiday season, but did you know that their health benefits make them the perfect treat throughout the year?
It's true, peppermint candy canes are often touted for some pretty substantial health perks. Here are 7 reasons you may want to reach for a candy cane to boost your health:
1. ALL ABOUT ANTIOXIDANTS
Peppermint oil in candy canes contains a substantial amount of antioxidants, in fact among the highest found in nature. The Cornell Center for Materials Research notes that peppermint oil contains higher antioxidant levels than those in cereals, fruits and vegetables.1Antioxidants strengthen your body's ability to fight diseases and infections, protecting your cells against attacks by the molecules produced when your body breaks down food.
2. FRESHEN UP YOUR BREATH
This one is obvious, right? Peppermint candy canes won't just disguise halitosis, they can destroy it. Minty fresh breath on the fly?2Yes please! Rather than just disguising the odor, the peppermint oil in candy canes kills the microbes that cause bad breath. So eat a candy cane and stand under the mistletoe in confidence.
3. TURN AROUND TUMMY TROUBLES
Peppermint has been found to be a soothing force in the gastrointestinal tract, comforting multiple gut ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, cramps and nausea. Research now backs up this former wives tale, touting the effectiveness of peppermint for a myriad of tummy troubles.3 One study from 2011 discovered that peppermint activates an "anti-pain" spot in the colon and introducing a calming effect. Chemo patients have also reported nausea relief from peppermint candy canes during treatment.
4. CURB CRAVINGS
Dieters rejoice! Peppermint is known agent to quell your cravings. A natural appetite suppressant, even smelling a peppermint candy cane will allow you to reap the slimming effects. 4 One study showed that sniffing peppermint just every two hours was effective at suppressing appetites.5 And if you indulge in a candy cane, rather than just smell it, it won’t throw your whole diet off track.
5. EASE TENSION HEADACHES
Often caused by stress, anxiety and fatigue, tension headaches can be a frustrating ailment to deal with. Some studies have found that tension headaches may be alleviated with peppermint, including one study that found using peppermint is as effective as taking acetaminophen after 15 minutes. Pretty impressive.
6. BOOSTS CONCENTRATION
Psychology professors have touted that peppermint candy given prior to a test increases performances. And schools have put it to the test with positive results, noting a change of focus and alertness. A few professors conducted a study to put their theory to the test.6 They noted an improvement in focus and response when peppermint was sniffed.7 Mental or not, it worked for them. Think about it.
7. RELIEVE YOUR STUFFY NOSE
Sometimes home remedies work more than anything else when it comes to clearing your sinuses. The menthol in peppermint is known to be an effective decongestant to open up nasal passages.8,9 It’s also soothing to the throat can calm dry cough. Plus a sweet treat tastes extra good when you aren’t feeling your best.